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Paddy
November 17th, 2006, 02:47 AM
GPs Pressured For Anti-Depressants Friday November 17, 07:17 AM (courtesy Yahoo News)

Parents are putting pressure on doctors to prescribe antidepressants to teenagers, according to a new report. Two thirds of GPs have admitted prescribing drugs such as Prozac to young adults when counselling would be more appropriate. They blamed pressure from parents and the poor state of local NHS mental health services.

Doctors have also reported a sharp rise in the number of teenagers with mental health problems, as well as self-harm and eating disorders, since 2001.

The findings were in Norwich Union Healthcare's (NUH) latest Health of the Nation report, a biannual report into the views of GPs.

Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of mental health charity Sane, said antidepressants should not be used as a quick-fix.

She said: "Teenage mental health problems need to be tackled at the root by making therapy more widely available."

"The clear message from GPs and parents is that there are increasing problems with our children's mental health," Dr Doug Wright, of NUH, said.

Dr Mayur Lakhani, chairman of the The Royal College of General Practitioners, denied doctors were prescribing antidepressants too readily.

He said: "GPs consider the need for antidepressants only after a careful assessment of the patients clinical condition."